IQF Jackfruit: An Ingredient to Watch
Due to its distinctive texture, jackfruit has gained popularity with vegans and vegetarians as a meat substitute over recent years and offers various health benefits.
What is Jackfruit?
Native to South India, Jackfruit is a large, exotic fruit belonging to the same plant family as fig, mulberry, and breadfruit. Weighing up to 35kg, jackfruit holds the title of the world's largest tree fruit.
With a unique, subtly sweet flavour, the taste of ripe jackfruit has been likened to a blend of fruits that includes mangoes, bananas, apples and pineapples. Jackfruit's texture is comparable to that of shredded meat, a property that has raised its profile among those looking to reduce or eliminate meat from their diet. Combine this with a high nutritional value and a myriad of purported health benefits, and jackfruit becomes an ingredient to watch.
Health benefits of jackfruit
Jackfruit benefits from a striking nutritional profile delivering high levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre with a relatively low calorific value. Compared to similar fruits such as mango, jackfruit also supplies a remarkably high protein level at almost 3g per cup.
Supporting Digestive Health - As a source of both soluble fibre, insoluble fibre, and prebiotics, jackfruit and its seeds can help to support digestive health.
Lowering Blood Sugar Levels - Although jackfruit contains natural sugars, it has a medium glycemic index and contains flavonoids and other nutrients that could assist with long-term blood sugar control.
Reducing Blood Pressure - As a source of potassium, jackfruit may also help to lower blood pressure.
Lowering LDL cholesterol - Animal-based studies have suggested that the seeds of jackfruit may help to reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol while raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels.
Are there risks of eating jackfruit?
Certain people are allergic to jackfruit, especially those who with an allergy to foods containing birch pollen, a list that also includes apple, celery, and kiwi. There have also been reports of people with latex allergies suffering severe allergic reactions after eating jackfruit, although cases are rare.
Due to jackfruit's potential to reduce blood sugar levels, this may have an impact on people with diabetes, who should consult their doctor before consuming jackfruit on a regular basis.
Jackfruit as an ingredient
Jackfruit can be safely consumed (with the noted exceptions above), both ripened and unripened.
Immature or unripened jackfruit offers a relatively neutral taste that absorbs the flavour of whatever seasoning is added. With a texture and consistency comparable to pork and chicken, unripened jackfruit is a popular choice for inclusion in vegan or vegetarian meals, for example, vegan pulled pork. When ripened, jackfruit naturally lends itself to desserts, sauces and frozen meals.
A few ideas for jackfruit recipes include:
- Jamaican jerk jackfruit wraps
- Jackfruit "duck" pancakes
- BBQ pulled jackfruit pizza
- Jackfruit icecream
- Jackfruit cheesecake
Uren is a leading supplier of IQF foods in the UK, and we can source IQF jackfruit in various cuts and sizes to suit manufacturing and food service needs, including:
- IQF Young jackfruit chunks
- Pre-cooked jackfruit in pouches
Our New Product Development team can work with you to incorporate ingredients such as IQF Jackfruit and are ready to advise on any bespoke requirements. For further information or to learn more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.